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"Appendix--the sources": v. 2, p. 517-562
October 14, 2013
Justin Harvey Smith's The War with Mexico
When historical works are often cited repeatedly by historians for several years thereafter they are often considered classic works on the area of study. Such works earn such status by being the first book on a subject, or by being exhaustive works in themselves that scholars long afterward consult them. This is the case with Justin Harvey Smith's The War with Mexico, two volumes, published nearly 100 years ago in 1919.
Smith's work stands out prominently in the literature of the conflict by the fact of his exhaustive research in both the US and in Mexico. He utilized archives in both nations as well as primary accounts from participants. Smith's work is also a brief review of the historiography of the conflict to that point (1919), and his rejection of conventional interpretations of the conflict as being a war to expand slavery.
While Smith's work is dated, it is still considered to be the classic work on the war and is cited by virtually every historian of the war to the present.